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7. Vehicle Components

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135
Steering and Suspension

The steering system includes the steering wheel and all of the links between it and the wheels. On older cars, and on light trucks, a system of links called "parallelogram linkage" is connected to a gear box, which changes the rotary motion of the steering wheel to linear movement of the linkage to cause the wheels to change position from straight ahead.

A vehicle's steering wheel is attached to a steering column or shaft which terminates in the steering box . Inside the steering box, the turning motion of the column is translated into a lateral motion which is passed on to the wheels through a series of components which include ball joints , the steering arm , and the steering knuckle .

When you turn the steering wheel in a power steering system you cause hydraulic fluid to be compressed inside a hydraulic cylinder and transmitted by hydraulic lines to a piston which amplifies the force making it easier to turn the wheels. In order for the hydraulic system to operate, the engine must be running.

Most vehicles today use a system called " Rack and Pinion " steering, where the steering wheel and the steering wheel shaft is directly connected to a toothed rod which directly turns the wheels.

The purpose of your vehicle's suspension system is to:

  • connect the wheels to the frame and body
  • keep the movement of your wheels from being transmitted fully to the body. This allows you to maintain control of the car in turns, when you hit pot holes, and on rough roads. It also makes riding in the car more comfortable.
  • The up and down movement of your wheels is absorbed by the springs in your suspension system, your shock absorbers keep the springs from continuing to bounce, and there are different designs for suspension systems involving various linkages, struts, joints, torsion bars, and so on.


    Lesson Summary


      

    Lesson 7 Quiz


    You will now answer 5 questions to test what you learned during this lesson. You must answer all questions correctly to receive completion credit for this lesson. You may answer the questions as many times as necessary to get them right.

    You should review the lesson material if you don't do well on the quiz.

    1. Disc brakes work by:


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    2. The engine in your car is sometimes called:


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    3. This oil warning light means that:


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    4. The ALTERNATOR:


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    5. The minimum tread thickness for passenger car tires is:


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